FLAC: DISCNUMBER and TRACKNUMBER

I've decided I'd like to use the ID3-style syntax for Track and Disc numbering:

01/18, 02/18
1/2, 2/3

even in my FLAC DISCNUMBER and TRACKNUMBER tags.

My understanding is that this is somewhat unusual, but it seems to be interpreted properly in the few players I've tested so far.

I'm looking for feedback from anyone out there as to whether this convention will cause issues with other players they're familiar with, as it seems like a fairly complex transform to have to figure out later on to put it back into the "normal" two-field format, plus of course I'd rather do it "right" to start with.

In what sense "properly"? Do these players split the fields into their two parts, read the first part and ignore the rest, or display the strings as-is?

I don't use this convention (or totalxxxx fields) for Mp3s, either.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I do think I've found some unintended behaviour in MP3Tag here. I'll try to present what I'm seeing in such a way that anyone with the current shipping version can verify for themselves.

Here are my mapping, I believe same as what ships out of the box with a fresh install:

Tag             Source         Target  
VorbisComment   DATE           YEAR  
VorbisComment   ORGANIZATION   PUBLISHER  
VorbisComment   TRACKNUMBER    TRACK

First, make sure you've got a datafield other than TRACKNUMBER to sort on, either a temporary custom field or as in my case your filenames may already start with a zero-padded track #.

We want to start with a clean slate: delete your TRACKNUMBER tag and confirm with whatever tool you use to check FLAC file tags

--> I use Ex Falso, but exiftool works well as well
that there aren't any leftover fields (e.g. TRACK, TRACKNO etc.)

Now in MP3Tag, get the album sorted in the right order, select the tracks and use the Auto-numbering Wizard to write a new TRACKNUMBER tag to each file - I happen to use padding, but don't think that's relevant. Note this pass don't select the "Save total count" option.

Note that MP3Tag will only show you the TRACKNUMBER field via the internal %track% value, since the above mapping makes it impossible to use %tracknumber% anymore. That value will return only the track number portion of the data, and if you're only using MP3Tag to view your FLAC tags, you'd never know any better.

However using a tool that actually shows the accurate tag name and values will reveal that your TRACKNUMBER tags actually contain the full track#/totaltracks string as is part of the ID3 spec for TRCK.

!!

So I'm guessing the official MP3Tag answer to my OP question here wrt track numbering is "sure, go ahead, it won't cause any issues with the mainstream players out there."

And I assume this behaviour is as intended, and I have no problem with it, but feel it should be documented.

And am taking the opportunity to put in am official enhancement request that MP3Tag give the user the option to view the raw format-native tag data in their files rather than masking it behind the internal mappings (in this case of the actual data, not simply the fieldnames).

Now to what I have to believe is unintended behaviour:

Repeat the steps above, but this time do select "Save total count". Your raw-value viewer will reveal that the TRACKNUMBER field now contains "X/YY/YY", e.g. 1/17/17 and of course this does cause problems with I assume just about every player out there.

If there is a better location for me to file a proper bug report, or my above wishlist item, please let me know.

Well perhaps you do and don't realize it, if you've been using MP3Tag's very handy Auto-numbering tool - check your actual raw tag data.

In the case of Foobar2000, which I'm using as a reference player ATM since it's also handling my FLAC->MP3 conversion for me,

and I'm very happy to receive feedback on that choice if there are interoperability issues with other mainstream players I want compatibility with: iTunes/iOS hardware, WMP, Slimserver, Winamp
it does the same as MP3Tag in presenting the two data points as if they are in two separate fields.

They also prepend the DISCNUMBER value "dot" to the track number, e.g. 2.4/17

The only way in FB2K to get the actual TRACKNUMBER contents displayed is with:

%tracknumber%/%totaltracks%

Even though the FLAC file contains no TRACKTOTAL (nor TOTALTRACKS) tag at all.

As I mentioned, I'm not bothered by this behaviour at all, and think it's great as it obviously must not be causing problems with the other players or others would have brought it up by now.

But it would have saved me a fair bit of head-scratching if it were documented. . .

No, I don't see that behavior at all. I don't generally have a need to use the track numbering wizard, but I followed the steps you outlined above and get only the track number stored in the field.

(think Charlie Brown after Lucy yet again yanks the footbal away) Aaaaaargh!

It's Ex Falso doing the prestidigitation!

I thought I was being extra-careful by verifying against exiftools, but I must have happened to actually have an X/YY string in my TRACKNUMBER at that time.

My humblest apologies to all for this whole incredibly confusing mess.

My enhancement request however stands.

In the meantime can anyone recommend a tool for reading raw FLAC tag values that has cleaner output than exiftools (one tag per line, showing the tag-label case accurately)?

So far it seems to be the only tool I've found that actually shows raw tag contents.

Can I ask what you use JJ?

And thanks for setting me straight, sorry again for wasting your time.

For raw tags, metaflac.exe from the command-line.

E:\Flac\Freddie Hubbard\Breaking Point>metaflac --list --block-type=VORBIS_COMMENT "03 Blue Frenzy.flac"

METADATA block #2
  type: 4 (VORBIS_COMMENT)
  is last: false
  length: 443
  vendor string: reference libFLAC 1.2.1 20070917
  comments: 14
    comment[0]: Title=Blue Frenzy
    comment[1]: Replaygain_Track_Gain=-5.73 dB
    comment[2]: Replaygain_Track_Peak=0.97973633
    comment[3]: Genre=Jazz
    comment[4]: Album=Breaking Point
    comment[5]: Albumartist=Freddie Hubbard
    comment[6]: Albumartistsort=Hubbard, Freddie
    comment[7]: Albumsort=Breaking Point
    comment[8]: Artist=Freddie Hubbard
    comment[9]: Replaygain_Album_Gain=-5.45 dB
    comment[10]: Replaygain_Album_Peak=0.97973633
    comment[11]: Artistsort=Hubbard, Freddie
    comment[12]: Date=1964
    comment[13]: Tracknumber=3

You can place the statement in a little batch file so you don't have to remember it.

@echo off
"C:\Program Files (x86)\FLAC\metaflac.exe" --list --block-type=VORBIS_COMMENT %1

I also find the Windows Explorer extension installed as a part of dbpoweramp that displays file tags on mouseover to be invaluable. It's the only part of dbpoweramp that I actually use.

Thanks I'd actually DL'd metaflac but stopped my research when I (thought I'd) found what I was looking for in Ex Falso. I've filed a report over at their tracker. . .

WRT that dbpoweramp component, I'm not able to pay, does the functionality remain when the trial is over?

Yes.